Am I having a panic attack?

ways to prevent and tackle panic attacks

What does it feel like to have a panic attack? We share womens experiences of the terror of having a panic attack, and suggest ways to prevent and tackle panic attacks here on offer at The Hub: from hypnotherapy, NLP, counselling and homeopathy, to empowerment coaching, yoga, mindfulness and dietary advice.

Just as stress comes at us in all sorts of forms and intensities, so panic attacks come in all kinds of different ways. Two common denominators are they hit you totally out of the blue and they’re really frightening.

Some common symptoms include:

  • heart pounding, racing heartbeat (tachychardia), palpitations
  • sweating or waves of intense heat
  • shortness of breath (hyperventilation) or difficulty breathing
  • nausea or actually being sick
  • trembling, shaking, faintness and dizziness
  • choking feeling
  • numbness or tingling

But people’s experiences of a panic attack vary widely. Here are some women’s accounts of their first episode – none of them the ‘typical’ panic attack:

Not even feeling uptight

‘I’d been under great stress for a few months setting up a new company. I was sitting over a relaxed lunch chatting with my partner about a financial prospect for the business and the best way to proceed. I’d just finished a cup of coffee and suddenly there was a band of painful tightness around my back just above my bra line and I was filled with radiating heat. I thought I had food poisoning. Breathing deeply and regularly, I felt better sitting outside in the cool. It was a deep shock as I wasn’t even feeling uptight – I was simply trying to work out a good strategy for my business. After about 15 minutes of focusing on my breathing and just being, the sensations disappeared completely and I was back to normal – though I felt a bit weak and depleted for some time to come.’

Need to escape

‘I was in bed reading last thing when all of a sudden my face felt numb, then I had tingling down my arms. I felt this sudden terror that I needed to escape, get out, run. Utter claustrophobia. A primal urge to flee.’

Vomiting

‘First thing I knew I was having a panic attack was throwing up in the ladies’. I felt as though ice was coursing through my veins, my head was throbbing, my breath short and fast. I thought I was dying – utterly terrifying. I had to sit down on the floor for five minutes before the sensation subsided.’

 

The word ‘panic’ comes from ancient Greece. In Greek mythology Pan, the god of woods, shepherds and their flocks, usually associated with wandering footloose and fancy free through the forest playing his pipe, took mischievous pleasure in suddenly springing out on animals unawares and paralysing them with terror. This all-encompassing ‘fight or flight’ sensation is the very essence of a panic attack.

If you suffer from panic attacks or anxiety of any sort, here at The Hub our team have a whole host of resources to help you manage and eradicate the anxiety. From hypnotherapy, NLP and counselling to get the heart of what the panic is all about and give you valuable tools to counteract the anxiety; to homeopathy to help you manage and eradicate the anxiety; to empowerment coaching to give you headspace and mechanisms to handle the stress; to dietary advice on supplements to take, tactics to keep your adrenals on an even keel and help to identify possible triggers; to yoga and meditation to put you in a whole new tranquil frame of mind; to mindfulness to enable you to leave each minute with your mind uncluttered by the what ifs and job lists and catalogue of cares and worries…

Give us a call to discuss the treatment that would be best for you to prevent and tackle panic attacks: 01590 670955.

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